QUICK HIT: The second volume in True U tackles the question Is the Bible Reliable? This is such a relevant topic for today’s youth and this series covers the topic extensively, but also in a way that stays fresh and fun. I’ve repeatedly had students tell me that this series gave them the most new information and helped them become more solid in their faith.
Look, it may sound like I’m being overly enthusiastic about True U. I’m not. If my seminary classes had been this interesting, I would have been overjoyed. And yet, the depth of content is not sacrificed for the entertainment value. Like volume one, Does God Exist?, this second volume is taught by Dr. Stephen Meyer, who continues to be relatable, challenging, encouraging, and thought-provoking.
The content of the second volume also tells me that Dr. Del Tackett and the folks behind True U knew exactly what they were doing. In my time in youth ministry, I’ve found that the two questions I get most frequently are questions of origins, questions of biblical reliability, and questions on social issues. Volume one covers origins and volume two tackles that question of historical reliability.
We live in a culture where “secular” history and “religious” history are considered separate entities and never the twain shall meet. This poses a problem for the student of history wanting to know how his religious beliefs fit into the historical timeline. Are these stories or are they narratives? Knowing that we can trust the Bible historically provides a logical foundation for us to trust it theologically. If the Bible shows itself trustworthy on concrete matters of reality that we can determine factually, then we have reason to believe in trustworthy on the more abstract matters of faith.
Is the Bible Reliable? is a ten lesson series, with each video having approximately a thirty minute runtime. Meyer does a great job interacting with the students in the video, meaning that I have found it helpful to pause the video to allow my class to answer Meyer’s question rather than having them fed an answer by the students in the video. This extends the video portion of the lesson to almost an hour, depending on how much your students are the type to discuss things.
In my experience, a ninety minute lesson period works best, perhaps making this better for a youth group time rather than a Sunday School time, as Sunday School is typically confined to an hour.
The lessons are as follows:
- In the Footsteps of Abraham
- The Exodus: From Egypt to Canaan
- The Israelites Conquer the Promised Land
- Israel’s Rise to Prominence through David and Solomon
- The Assyrian Invasion
- The Babylonian Conquest of Judah
- Investigating the Historical Authenticity of this New Testament
- The Reliability of Luke and Acts
- How Archaeology Backs Up the New Testament
- The Trial of Jesus
Probably my favorite part of this lesson series is that it spends the bulk of its time in the Old Testament. So many studies on the historicity of Scripture focus on the New Testament while placing a distinct lack of emphasis on the OT. Yet it’s the OT that has most of the history that needs to be integrated with “secular” history.
Once again, True U knocks it out of the ballpark with their 96-page study guide that accompanies the book. It’s well-designed and well-written, seamlessly integrating with the lecture material without looking or sounding like a textbook.
To conclude: Whether young or old, new in the faith or longtime believer, you’ll pick up something from this series. I’ll be making this series part of my youth group curriculum for years to come.